By JENNIFER SMELTSER
That’s right, I said it: I am Super Mommy. Ask my children and they will tell you the same thing. You may consider that a bold statement to make, but I have no qualms about it because that is just what I am. There is no scale to measure my superness. Only my children can do the tallies and as far as they are concerned, I tilt the Richter scale knock it over and bury it. It has not always been that way, but I came to a point in my life where I realized that I only have one chance with each of my children at this mommy thing and I decided that I should do it to the best of my ability.
We are a homeschooling family and I am not only their mother, but their teacher, which means I spend a lot of time with my children. As a homeschooling mother, that does not make me a better or more super mother than one whose children attend school outside of the home, but plenty think I’d be a better mother just because I spend more time with my children. I wish it were that easy to make a case, but spending physical time with your children is not the same as spending engaged time, and the results also are not the same.
There was a point in my life where I just showed up as parent and went through the motions without being actually engaged in the experience I was having with my children. I spent time with them in the same room by sitting silently, preoccupied with my own agenda while they watched a movie. I would find a comfortable seat outside to sit while I watched them play and return my attention to a book I was reading or more quiet time in my own thoughts. Their requests for me to play a game with them or sometimes read a book to them was met with a not right now, or I'll be there in a minute, which ultimately became an hour or two later.
The results of my actions were later displayed when I started seeing my children playing together and only coming to me for something to eat or drink. They no longer asked me to play, assuming I would just give them the same responses I had given in the past. I know this because I asked them. I liked the idea of them being creative and finding things to entertain themselves and also playing together, but I did not like that they were doing it because they had grown tired of me not being their super mommy.
Disappointed in myself because of all of the mommy plans I had of spending time with my children days playing ball in the yard, all the books I wanted to read to them, all of the places I wanted to share with them and seeing that they were eager and ready for me to be with them in the moments, I took that opportunity to be the kind of mom both they and I wanted me to be and ran with it. And I am still running.
My children are a blast to hang out with, from the silly laughs we share to the all out Academy Award-winning drama that is sometimes funny and other times tiring. The memories we are making together are ours together of time spent together. Every once in a while my children still have to wait because sometimes I just can't drop what I am doing, but they are okay with that because they know that when I do finish, they are going to get that engaged mommy the best and all of me.
I am super mommy.
I am their super mommy.
Jennifer Smeltser is a wife, mother of three, and a freelance writer whose work has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and online publications. You can visit and read more about her at Milk & Honey Mommy, where she writes incessantly about her accidental love of cooking, her take on green living, her learning journey with her children, and the head-scratching happenings in her house.